Bronze Radio Return
Up, On, and Over


3.8
excellent

Review

by Irving Tan STAFF
June 23rd, 2013 | 22 replies | 5,611 views


Release Date: 06/25/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Summer jamz.

It feels slightly disingenuous to have to begin this review – indeed, any review – with a mention of another band, but despite agonizing over the matter for a couple of days now I simply can’t shake the feeling that the context in which I’d be most comfortable hosting an online discussion about Bronze Radio Return’s Up, On, and Over is the one that mentions that other exuberant, slightly-high-on-helium indie rock release of the summer – namely, a certain Modern Vampires of the City.

But while it’s my fervent wish that this chosen critical angle does not end up casting the Hartford sextet as a less-famous Vampire Weekend – for they most certainly deserve much better than that – the fact remains that there is much commonality to be found in the musical tropes of these two outfits, save for one small, vital difference: Up, On, and Over is coded for summer enjoyment and not much else. It’s a pure and simple goal, and it’s hard to come away without appreciating the fact that within the folds of this record resides a crucial honesty that’s rarely glimpsed in many of indie rock’s more popular, critically-acclaimed narratives. In other words: if you chose to believe, as I do, that deliberate and thoughtful exploration of more mature and world-weary themes – like the privilege of youth and disillusionment with American foreign policy (or what else have you) – should always deserve a place in our collective Pantheon of Respectable Art, then the corollary is that pieces which elect to go the other way, and ride the wake of euphoria until it simply can’t go any further, must be held in the same regard.

Bronze Radio Return exhibit these reckless tendencies to the nth degree on their fourth studio release, and there’s an enviable sense of abandon in their choosing to create pieces that treat even the most mundane of occurrences as being worthy of celebration. Take the excellent “Mister Mister”, for instance, which I’m fairly certain contains one of the summer’s best choruses (“Hey mister mister you can have my days but you better leave my nights ALOOO-OOONE!!!” sings vocalist Chris Henderson), or “Melting in My Icebox” – a true out-and-out anthem if there ever was one – which aims for the feeling of driving down a wide, sunbaked freeway with windswept hair and the roof down, and succeeds with flying colours. Elsewhere, the after-effects of the band’s decision to retire to a farm in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia to write their fourth studio release is not lost as well, with songs like “Sylvan” and “World Spin” slipping neatly into the back-end of Bronze Radio Return’s oeuvre of country-tinged folk-pop. With so much industriousness on show, it’s a bit of a shame that there’s a perceptible – even if it’s ever so slight – dip in quality towards the end of Up, On, and Over, but I guess to moan overmuch about that would be the equivalent of arguing that summers should not exist because they tend to lead into autumn.



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user ratings (8)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2013



7144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

So.

How obvious is the rust guys? =S

Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2013



7144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Oh, and stream:

http://bit.ly/1bEgHUG

Tyrael
June 23rd 2013



20740 Comments


I must say...

you really put the intro into introspective

;]

nice work Irving, the rust is barely noticeable :]

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2013



3344 Comments


Saw these guys open a free music festival at a small venue in Pittsburgh, surprisingly good concert considering I didn't actually know them. Will read the review soon

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2013



10011 Comments


Really nice work, Irving. You have such a way with words, man.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

tommygun
June 24th 2013



23615 Comments


gd summary

Digging: Obliteration - Black Death Horizon

Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2013



7144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

@ Brostep: Yeah this album kinda caught me off guard. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to get into it. The thrills can occasionally feel like they're on the wee-too-light side, admittedly, but that really is splitting hairs. It's good summer fun, so no complaints here.

@ Omaha: Too kind bro. Or are you just trying to get me to review your EP here?

;)

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2013



3344 Comments


BTW, would you like some constructive feedback/criticism from your local friendly contrib?

Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2013



7144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Go right ahead sir =) Be gentle though. It might hurt my feelings and I don't want to haz a sads.

Hahahahah I kid, GET AT ME BRO

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2013



3344 Comments


All right then, here goes:

ONE SENTENCE INTRO PARAGRAPH YAH not necessarily a bad thing and I actually think it's appropriate

it’s my fervent wish that this chosen critical angle does not end up casting the Hartford sextet as a less-famous Vampire Weekend – for they most certainly deserve much better than that – the fact remains that there is much commonality to be found in the musical tropes of these two outfits, save for one small, vital difference: Up, On, and Over is coded for summer enjoyment and not much else.

This is a super intricate sentence. Parts like "fervent wish that this chosen critical angle" and "much commonality to be found in the musical tropes" are fine, but they also seem a little weighty, you know? Like, in a P4K 8 paragraph review they'd fit right in but here, considering the review is 3 paragraphs, they take up just a little too much space IMO. Not necessarily a bad thing, just a stylistic preference



Brostep
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2013



3344 Comments


it’s hard to come away without appreciating the fact that

Is "come away" the phrase you want to use? I don't really "get it" in this context

if you chose to believe, as I do, that deliberate and thoughtful exploration of more mature and world-weary themes – like the privilege of youth and disillusionment with American foreign policy (or what else have you) – should always deserve a place in our collective Pantheon of Respectable Art, then the corollary is that pieces which elect to go the other way, and ride the wake of euphoria until it simply can’t go any further, must be held in the same regard.

Especially given the "rust" you refer to (which I don't really see) this is a FANTASTIC sentence. Seriously good, I love the concept of "pantheon of respectable art"

n-th

I think it's just "nth," but I may be wrong

being worthy of celebration

You could probably just say "worth celebrating" and save two words

driving down a wide, sunbaked freeway with windswept hair and the roof down

I take issue with this not because it's bad (which it's not) but because I don't agree that you need to have hair that can be swept by the wind to enjoy driving down the "sunbaked freeway" (though it does help, admittedly)

The review ends just a bit abruptly - I'd think even a throwaway conclusion would be better. Maybe that's just your style, but I don't know

Great review overall, I love your writing style - it skirts pretentious but is just playful enough to be really really good without actually reaching that odious "level of pretension." I'd love to see you write more! Would you mind looking at my review for Yeezus in return? It's fine if you don't want to but I got 125 or so comments and a grand total of maybe 2 vaguely referenced the review itself so I'd love to see someone else's perspective (besides Jacob who already looked at it)

damn "comment is too long"

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2013



10011 Comments


I got 125 or so comments and a grand total of maybe 2 vaguely referenced the review itself


Haha, the joys of this site huh?

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2013



3344 Comments


Exactly, that and my Courage My Love review (which got exactly 0 comments from other people) made me decide to post smaller stuff on MD only as it's pointless to post that stuff on Sput

Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2013



7144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks Brostep! And yeah sure, will go and pop by (and write you a proper comment) when I get back (I'm at work now - it's 9.45 am in Malaysialand lol).

Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2013



7144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Also -

EVERYONE DO LISTEN TO THIS IT'S QUITE GOOD

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 25th 2013



4382 Comments


I'll give these guys a try. Good review, Irving. Always good to see you around.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2013



7144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks and cheers good sir. And I do hope to write more very soon =)

brianlunar
June 28th 2013



1 Comments


Great but not that much convincing though,But effort must be applauded for sure...


longest drivers

Chortles
June 28th 2013



17909 Comments


one of my friends is obsessed with these guys, they seem ok from what i've heard

Digging: Yo La Tengo - Electr-O-Pura

Irving
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2013



7144 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Have you heard this, Chortles?

Also I'm curious if that friend is a dude or a dudette. Lol.



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